Itoman tug-of-war wins grand prix in 18th Furusato Award

Itoman tug-of-war wins grand prix in 18th Furusato Award

Kenichi Uehara (center), chairman of the Itoman Tug-of-War event committee that won the grand prize of the 18th Furusato Award, at the Tokyo International Forum in Chiyoda on March 5.


March 6, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

Itoman Ozunahiki (tug-of-war) has won the grand prix of the 18th Furusato Award presented by the Japan Center for Regional Development. This is the first time that an event in Okinawa has been selected as the grand prix winner for the Furusato Award. The award selection committee noted that the community members in Itoman City had been promoting the traditional tug-of-war to preserve regional customs. On March 5, the awards ceremony was held at the Tokyo International Forum Hall in Chiyoda, Tokyo.

Kenichi Uehara, the chairman of the executive committee for the Itoman tug-of-war event, and Tadashi Tamaki, the vice chairman, attended the awards ceremony. Uehara said, “I accepted the award both with great joy and surprise. We will continue the traditional tug-of-war by introducing new ideas that match the times.”

The tug-of-war is held on August 15 in the lunar calendar every year. Itoman ozunahiki is unique, because people bring the small ropes from various districts to make a large rope on the day of the event. About 33,000 people took part in the event last year. It will be held on September 8 this year.

Events from seven cities and communities were selected for the grand prix of the 18th Furusato Award from 169 applicants across the country.

(English translation by T&CT)

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